Mamma Mia! New Restaurant in Highland Village Adds to H-Town's Profusion of Great Italian Spots

Becca Wright
Mamma Mia! New Restaurant in Highland Village Adds to H-Town's Profusion of Great Italian Spots

Cacio e pepe

OVER THE PAST year or so, Houston has experienced an influx of Italian eateries —Il Bracco, Marmo, Lulu’s, Davanti, and more on the way. Numero28 in Highland Village is the newest kid on the block. Charming, family-friendly and affordable, here’s how Numero28 dials up the fun.


The snug, light-filled restaurant, which seats about 50 indoors and more on the petite patio, turns to southern Italy for inspiration, with an authentic menu based on classics from the “old country.” The vibe is bustling with an all-Italian soundtrack, as well as an eye-popping Italianesque cocktail list, and an emphasis on presentation and service.

Co-owner Bernardo Nolfo, a restaurant industry veteran and native of Sicily, moved to Texas to open Numero28 Austin and a location in Dallas with the endorsement by the founders of the original Numero28 in New York. “We are just making good food that we can be proud of, and that guests will like. It’s not modern or nuovo — just food we grew up with and something for all ages,” says Nolfo.

For antipasti and salads, there’s everything from arancina (stuffed and fried risotto cakes) to a wide-ranging selection of cheeses and cured meats. Veal meatballs, arugula salad, caprese salad, and an impressive high-quality carpaccio garnished with lemons and drizzled with EVOO and reduced balsamic, round out this section of the menu. To sip, the bright green basil martini with lime juice is a refreshing way to start. But take it slowly: This delicious cocktail made with Tito’s vodka packs a punch.

Most of the pastas are handmade, including the crowd favorite cacio e pepe, the Roman dish rich in cheese and black pepper. At Numero28, it’s a showstopper, finished tableside with the spaghetti tossed inside a wheel of pecorino cheese the size of a hubcap. We relished a weekend special of squid-ink pasta draped in a tangy, slightly spicy seafood marinara. For something heartier, there’s a lasagna Bolognese layered with bechamel sauce and Parmesan, as well as chicken Parmigiana and a rolled and roasted Italian pork belly entrée.

Pizzas feature prominently on the menu, with more than a dozen combos and a choice between tomato sauce, white sauce or gluten-free dough. It’s easy to love the blistered, thin Neapolitan-style with a light application of Italian ingredients. Of the 12-inch pies, the signature Numero28 — touting smoked prosciutto, mozzarella, mushrooms, and truffle cream — is among the most popular. For the finale, go for the real-deal tiramisu or one of many gelato flavors.

Outside of Texas and New York, Numero28 restaurants are open in Miami and Bergenfield, New Jersey.

Basil martini

Carpaccio

Arugula salad

Food
Pelican Builders Welcome Residents To First New Upper Kirby Condo Offering In Years;
Boutique Midrise Adds To Pedestrian Appeal Of Sought-After, Inner Loop Neighborhood

WITH ITS INAUGURAL set of residents newly moved in, Pelican Builders’ mid-rise condominium Westmore at 2323 W Main Street in Upper Kirby is already seeing the blossoming of a tight-knit community. Designed by Houston-based Mirador Group the Westmore is the first new condominium product to be introduced to the in-demand, inner loop neighborhood in more than three years. And with remaining two-bedroom homes starting at $895,000, it’s a remarkable value for this increasingly pricey area, where condos can easily climb to several million dollars and more.

Keep ReadingShow less
Home + Real Estate

THIS WEEKEND MAY have been chilly, but one Friday-night bash brought the heat: Reagan and Alex Bregman welcomed a handful of VIPs to the launch party for their new southwest food brand, Wild Sol.

Keep ReadingShow less
Parties

Marita Fairbanks, Palmer Schooley, Kasi Kubiak and Connor Estes

STILL RECOVERING FROM a devastating fire at its HQ in 2022, Fresh Arts expanded on its Instagram-worthy dance-party fundraiser by adding a dinner to this year’s gala, themed The Wonder Ball. Dressed in lavish Alice-in-Wonderland-themed costumes, guests were transported down the rabbit hole as they arrived to Silver Street Studios, which was completely transformed into Lewis Carroll’s fantasy land.

Keep ReadingShow less
Parties